Barnes has offered pretty amazing projectiles to other ammunition manufacturers and reloaders for some time. More recently, they’ve launched their own line of loaded self-defense handgun ammunition. Available in .380 ACP, 9mm +P, .40 S&W, .45 ACP +P and .357 Magnum, we’re going to be trying out most of them over the next couple of months. To start, we’re going to take a close look at the .45 ACP offering.
The self-defense ammo line made and marketed by Barnes is distinctive as it uses the famous Barnes TAC-XP bullets. These all copper projectiles feature a giant hollow cavity up front. The hollow-point cavities are huge, like cereal bowls. I ate some Lucky Charms out of one of the .45 ACP bullets, but I wouldn’t recommend it as it makes the milk taste like old pennies.
There’s a good reason for the solid copper design, however. Weight retention during expansion becomes a non-issue as there is no jacket to shed from the inner core. In fact, there is no inner core – it’s just one solid hunk of metal shaped like a bullet. Unless the projectile hits something really, really hard and literally breaks, the post-fired projectile will weigh exactly the same as the pre-fired version. The other benefit is that the solid material design helps when bullets have to pass through tough barriers like auto glass. They’ll fly straighter and perform more consistently.
This particular load uses the 185-grain TAC-XP projectile. You’ll also notice the projectiles are black instead of the shiny copper color. That’s because they’re coated with black nickel. It looks cool, but also provides a slightly slicker surface for improved feeding.